Opportunities and threats for Iran to enter the blockchain technology market

NikZadSoheil Nikzad
Marketing Director at PersianGIG.com

Bitcoin and Blockchain technology at a glance

If we are asked how much we trust somebody, the answer would probably be a collection of sentences which expresses our mental estimations about his/her possible reactions in different situations. Now if the question is solely about financial issues, we would be able to determine a specific monetary amount so that his/her honesty and truth could be trustable in less amounts. Now picture an algorithm allowing us to put a part of your trust towards somebody in a pyx, lock it with a key without worrying about any leakage and deliver it to your trustee so he/she can trust on the first audience based on your trust. This way a considerable amount of existing trust among people in small and/or large social networking communities will stream as specified volumes of wealth, commodity, consensus or any other exchangeable valuable roles flow. Thus people can trade, measure, protect or transfer a part of valuable phenomena, which they trust their credibility, in deals. We may lose just a little bit of technical details if we say Bitcoin and its newborn virtual currency family are working like this.

Blockchain technology is a novel wise algorithm from the fin-tech family which allows value units to pack and stream between people so that their credibility goes beyond each one’s mutual trust and become a new economic transaction infrastructure by accepting basic rules of this algorithm between all users as public consensus.

bitcoin-iran-01

recognized by Federal Reserve as a commodity
recognized by the Central Bank of European Union as a prevalent international currency
recognized even recently as an international currency by Russia, the country had been ordained serious punishments for Bitcoin transactions before
Simple and inexpensive transactions
The feasibility of coexistence and numerous applications in social networks and big data
Controversies, thefts and dirty money transfer stories
Various non-monetary applications in security services market
And…
They all are familiar news about a technological and open movement in international information society and their shared keyword is “Bitcoin”.

Being aware of plentiful opportunities in this new inexpensive secure technology without needing to spend enormous resources emphasizes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies assessment in our beloved country, Iran, more and more.

If we only consider cryptocurrencies as money we will figure out that developers’ society has made a market cap more than $ 10 billion by spending less than $ 100 million in total to create whole apps and services till now.

Although the result of under constructing programs for newborn currencies in High Council of Cyberspace has not yet been approved or issued as a law but it’ll be attractive to discover value making fields for us according to potential scientific, economic, geopolitic and strategic position of our country in current and future global relations. Opportunities which must not be unaware of their risks and threats.

To study Iran’s facing opportunities and challenges in the international community to enter blockchain technology market will be the subject of following issues of this article series.

Bitcoin and Blockchain technology Implementation in Iranian PSPs

The internal transaction market is an important researchable use cases of blockchain technology implementation in any country’s cryptocurrency related case studies. ‌But at the current period Iran’s payment services market is involved to the serious challenges caused by internal and international changes. Meanwhile blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies implementation has special importance as an instance use case of Fin-Tech. Iran’s current state of payment service puzzle will be surveyed by focus on cryptocurrencies as following.

First of all PSPs has been created as outsourcing unite of the certain routine activities alongside the banks. E-commerce growth and payment channels variety made their products portfolio more rich and profitable.

After the abrupt growth of internet and social networks, virtual currencies became keeping and transferring value tool in form of tickets, credit tokens and various chips inside network and reached their own share of money and payment market which was not satisfied by PSPs.

Relying on the blockchain technology in past five years cryptocurrencies like bitcoin started to earning their even small but increasing share of money and transaction market which is kept so tight by special specs such as autonomy, cheapness, anonymity and micro transactions capability.

Competitors utilised this opportunity away from the traditional PSPs who were limited to the monetary and banking regulation and stroked their business seriously as yet.

The next competitors are from the information technology market due to their businesses has kept crowded loyal user bases in interaction such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Samsung. They were entered this market relaying on their customer bases by obtaining PSP permission symbolically and seems willing to earn considerable value added share of market in their pockets.

By continuing current trend some of reasonable consequences waiting for exclusive payment service market owners includes losing marketshare, being bought partially or totally by new competitors and bankruptcy.

Low internet quality and influence ratio to deliver online services, external sanctions and many continuous years if staggering inflation are the main Iranian PSPs’ paralysing reasons due their foreigner colleagues’ years of growth. These troubles in Iranian PSPs’ work field always led to lack of profitability in comparison to the international industry standards, lose of selection chance as an investment case and also lose of independence chance as an Independant business.

Iran’s recently inflation decrease led the banks return to their own business banking and payment services without any need to force them not to interfere in company management   field bearing on capital time value utilisation (such as trade and construction businesses)

international political openings for Iran, capability of international banking activities, possibility of foreign competitors entrance and losing efficiency of capital time value game for banks are the main reasons of Iranian PSPs’ challenge in the new business atmosphere.

the competition will be harder for Iranian PSPs affecting by outdated technologies, immature regulatory caused by internal monopoly and external sanctions, monetary service shadow market and finally non-banker companies’ interest to the payment service market.

PSPs’ possible scenarios seems to be:

To keep current monopolised service quality level according to the regulator’s limitation for new technology implementation and foreign competitor entrance
Transfer marketshare to colleagues and not colleagues competitors and shadow market
Bankruptcy and leaving market for foreign colleagues competitors
Partnership or acquisition by foreign PSPs
New technology implementation and service quality level and efficiency improvement
First of all High Council of Cyberspace is responsible for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology activity regulation in Iran which didn’t approved and announced any result as legal procedure until writing this article despite having an understudy plan declaration. Different news from positive to negative prediction spectrum has been notified as yet.

The second step to implement cryptocurrencies as money and blockchain technology is based on financial regulatory organisation’s opinion namely Central Bank based on Iran’s constitution.

According to lack of subject determination in High Council of Cyberspace and also Central Bank’s very strict and conservative instructions about the other financial technologies such as USSD at least in probability space legal admission is so far and impossible for blockchain technology.

There aren’t any known business accepting bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies as money or utilising blockchain technology as financial transaction recording infrastructure in Iran at the moment. Also non of Iranian PSPs has declared to have an executive compiled program in this field.

As conclusion just we can say “Not Determined Yet!” such as an intact fruit losing its verdancy slowly. Maybe it’s true to say bitcoin state in Iranian PSPs is zero in an spectrum from negative to positive.

 

about Hamijoo an online crowdfunding site that aims to help Iranian artistic and film projects

Hamijoo.com
Founded by Mohammad Noresi

Hamijoo is an online crowdfunding site that aims to help Iranian artistic and film projects – much like Indiegogo. In an economy struggling with international sanctions, Hamijoo tries to find an alternative way to support art and culture.

Its founder, Mohammad Noresi, is a 28-year-old graduate of biomedical engineering. He has previously worked on a number of failed tech startups but this latest project has quickly proved itself. Within two months of its launch, Noresi has had to taken on three new workers and is seeking to employ more staff.

Noresi says that more than 160 people have used Hamijoo to fund artistic projects so far. The five projects the site is currently collecting money for include a documentary by award-winning independent Iranian film-maker Mehrdad Oskouei. The film, called Daybreak Dreams, is the third instalment of a trilogy about children held in an Iranian juvenile rehabilitation centre. It took Oskouei seven years to obtain official permission to make the documentary, which is currently in post-production and has so far attracted 96m rials (around £2,000) from 23 different donors, 38% of the target.

Mohammad Noresi
Mohammad Noresi

Another project, a music album by Meysam Azad, has so far attracted 111 donations, a total of 20m rials (£400), 10% of its target. The big challenge, says Noresi, is that the Iranian diaspora who might like to participate have no means to transfer money to Iran because of the sanctions. “So many people have contacted us from outside Iran because they want to donate too but currently there is no way for them to transfer their money to us.”

Noresi will be travelling to Germany in June to participate in the iBridges conference, which is the biggest gathering of Iranian tech startups. It will be his first trip abroad ever and he hopes to meet big investors there.

source: the guardian

Iran’s Banking IT Companies programs for FinTech startups

Shahab Javanmardi CEO of Fanap co. several times has said that once Fanap was a startup company that today is transformed into a large one. When they started, the term startup was not common in Persian language and traditional notion of large state-owned companies. Trading was active in the private sector, according to an unwritten rule, production was transferred to the public sector, but turn that information technology was the next two largest state-owned companies, also began slowly properties. “System Group” were almost the first Company that began in the late 1970s. Although the people in private companies could establish good interaction with characters, apparently attributes FinTech startups have in the future and try to understand the current direction of Iran FinTech, have a stake in it. This is exactly the process that took Fintech the world’s major banks to start-up and instead is opposed to the idea of interaction. However, it seems that banks are ahead of bank information technology companies, and currently there is no place in this arena is not banked. TrigUp presentation ceremony was held in the past week. This report will look at the four companies and their attempt to Fintech startups.

Fanap and TrigUP

FanapFanap with cafe IT and TrigUP tried to take his share of the market for startups. Various events held in cafe IT that is almost rosary string them all technology and business. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin topics such as the future of technology and also studied at the cafe It. October Fanap also accelerated the cycle of innovative business ideas to support the ICT-related ideas began.

Tosan and Hackaton

tosanTosan first private company investing in IT banking success to date has gained considerable too. Tosan these days are looking for more than a thousand branch banks is traditionally the largest state-owned bank customer in ISC Co. are software services. Tosan banking software company that was the first event where Fintech startups have tried in space. October TosanBoom tried to hold hackathon event called Iranian talents in a competitive environment to benchmark. the hackathon is a way to enter the “TosanBoom” or the App Store Tosan, such as Fanap TrigUp a lot of companies have created over the years and their main goal of the event was to discover new talents who can enrich their value chain and be stronger. Homayon Mahbobi, executive director of the TosanBoom had said previously about the event: “The important thing is that this first event will be held based on the actual services and even online services, electronic banking, there was no prototype. In the three days, Tosan support partners provide a realistic environment for participants and teams with real data, financial transactions were conducted on the environment and integrated system of banking transactions and accounting records in Banco to be passed.”

ISC and InBank2

Informatics-Service-CorporationISC is Iranian state-owned bank the largest IT services company. government and due to the fact that many infrastructure systems, such as SHETAB and support SHAPARAK move a little innovation, but these precautions are not mandatory, they would be indifferent to the innovations. They held December event InBank2. This event by the ISC and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty of Tehran University 26 to 28 December in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Tehran University was held. The great thing about Tosan Events and ISC Award of the top teams is significant about this award as it reached 10 thousand USD. ISC InBank is defined as “a day of InBank series of events that will be held by the company in which social informatics service of the owners of ideas from academia and industry, come together around innovation in electronic banking. The aim of the events, gathering huge reserves of creativity and Ideation among academics and industry professionals in the field of electronic banking and e-banking firm age and link it with full body in Iran. At the event in a friendly atmosphere and exciting ideas with the services, products, tools and related systems, banking technologies were raised by the audience and the bank due to its sovereignty umbrella position on all the ideas from all sectors will be eligible wide.

eFarda and finova

eFardaIt’s eFarda that one of the subsidiaries of the Ayandeh Bank and Technology Park campus has done many efforts to grow the ecosystem of FinTech startups. In between all 4 companies which were included in the report, regarding eFarda working environment than the rest of us have to learn mental space that reminds of startups. Its eFarda tried to be innovative style. Reinventing the Future “Finova” of February last year began at Amir Kabir University of Technology Tower. Its eFarda, previously with Lean Startup Machine event, launching joint cooperation and festival atmosphere in Tehran, were an approach in support of startup and continue the process, “Finova” was launched.

English version of way2pay.ir takes off

That’s it, finally after six years of running www.way2pay.ir in Persian language we decided to run the English version of it.

Way2pay.ir is a six-year-old Persian online media which is focused on e-banking, e-payment and recently also on fintech. Fortunately way2pay could find its way and influence through experts and businesses in these fields in Iran and many other online and paper media in Iran quote its content in their reports.

English version of way2pay.ir takes off
English version of way2pay.ir takes off / a screen form persian way2pay.ir

During all these years we were asked that why we don’t have an English version of way2pay so as that foreigners could access to the content. What made us hesitate running an English version of it was that we didn’t want English way2pay to be a translated version of the Persian one. We wanted to start producing content from the starting point for foreigner audience, not just translate what was produced for Iranian audience.

Now we are ready to show the world that what’s happening in Iran in electronic banking, electronic payment and fintech. English way2pay is a chance for Iranian market and businesses to start dealing with the world.

In the coming days, check our reports for Iran banking and payment system.

Ghorbani Brothers (+)(+)

Co-founders of way2pay.ir